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I just replaced my door handle this weekend. I spent all of 4 minutes attempting to do it the "correct way". But I knew that it was futile. So I busted out my 1'' stepper bit and did it this way instead. Once the hole was drilled, I had the new handle on in a few minutes. Lubed everything up and replaced my door lock actuator while I was in there.

Wham bam, no more crawling through the other side, and the door lock works again. Thanks to this thread it was super easy. I don't know how people are doing it without drilling the hole, but im glad I didn't have to.
 

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Common Sense + Critical Thinking
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OEM really is the best, but if properly adjusted and lubed, the others should last. I buy the cheap ones.
 

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I put that stuff on all my door handles 2 years ago.....now I can't get into my van! The handles slip right out of my hands.....but they haven't broken again, lol.
Seriously, though, lubing them is a no-brainer. And should be done again at the first sign that the handles are feeling a bit "stiff" in their operation. And don't neglect to fish as many of the broken pieces as possible out of the bottom of the door cavity while you're in there....they can plug the drain holes and allow crud to build up down there leading to a rusted-out door.
-M!ke-
 

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Worked well. Used a couple magnets to hold bottom nut on socket. Used pick tool to slide nut towards top 'screw'. Bit of a pain to insert rod and rotate locking snap plastic into position but managed to do it.
Very helpful post and photos.
 

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Great idea. I just performed my own drilling operation after finding this site. Extraction of the upper bolt went easy for once and I simply used a 10mm box end wrench. However, on re-installation I find my 1/4 inch universal joint won't get into the space and looks to be a little too large for the hole. Is there a trick to this procedure? Maybe my hole is too close to the outside edge of the door. What kind of universal wrench do you use? I have a Husky (HD) brand but it looks too beefy to fit in the whole. I think I need a "mini" wrench if they make them. Anyway, it is working fine with just one nut/bolt and saved me a bundle compared to my mechanics fee. :doh:
 

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I did this today too. It was pretty well explained so I'll spare the details. The only thing I'd have done differently if I knew then what I know now is I'd have drilled the hole closer to the door skin and missed the latch. It didn't cause any trouble, just made me trim the plug a bit and silicone it in place. I went with 1.25" hole and plug, that's what I had on hand. The most difficult part (that wasn't really that difficult) was getting the pintle behind the other rod. I also tweaked the rod a little to get it to operate sooner in the pull. It felt to me like I really had to pull on the handle to get it to open. Pics or it didn't happen, right? In the second pic I'm pointing to where the stud is. I lined up the hole with it. Pic 3 shows the hinge pin had worked it's way up, I have to wonder if that had anything to do with it breaking. Pic 4 you can see where I ran into the latch. 5 shows the stud, 6 the clip, and 7 is the finished product.

Be careful not to lose the retainer clip from the new handle. Mine popped out on me at some point. Not a big deal for me since none of my Christmas trees are intact, but for most of us that would be an "oh &*$%" moment if the door panel weren't already off.







 

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Common Sense + Critical Thinking
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Big_kid said:
The only thing I'd have done differently if I knew then what I know now is I'd have drilled the hole closer to the door skin and missed the latch.
Thanks for this comment, made sure I was closer to the skin.

Big_kid said:
It wasn't already? We're slipping like a smoked clutch pack.
Is that what I smell burning ;)

Replaced the passenger side with this one: https://amzn.to/2nwGXU1
I did the 1" hole, ordering plugs to fill the hole https://amzn.to/2okG7d1
Ordering the drivers side as well https://amzn.to/2nFkqEg
 

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I could really use some help.

I just changed the handle on the passenger side door (1999 Safari), and during the process, the other vertical rod for the key mechanism popped out of the top eyelet. I took the door panel off, and looking up through the 1.25" hole I drilled for the handle fix, I saw an empty nylon eyelet that I assumed that this rod must clip into. So I worked like hell and actually got it in!

I got the panel and all the bits back on and all buttoned up, closed the door and tried the key. Nothing. Now the door won't open at all, from outside or inside, and the key won't actuate to open it. The key seems to go all the way to the right (to unlock), but not all the way to the left (to lock).

What could possibly be wrong?
 

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'95 Astro AWD Hi-Top Conversion
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I found that on my 95, the handle's rod had to sneak around behind the key lock rod, I couldn't just push the connected handle in without knocking the other rod off. I took the panel off to discover it makes the job WAY easier even after drilling the 1" service hole. I don't have a clue if this applies in your case, and I also can't imagine how to open the door if the rods are jammed up and won't move. seriously, I feel your frustration, good luck.

reading a few posts back...my dad taught me to put a dab of grease in a socket to hold a nut. I do it all the time, like for the handle nuts, but ALSO for the bottom hardware on my stabilizer links. it's never failed me.
 
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